What if I Could Get Away with It?
But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” Genesis 27:11-12
How much food would I consume if I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight? What if I could use opioids, knowing that I’d never get caught? Would I steal a million dollars if no one knew? How would I live if I could do whatever I wanted and not get caught? I’d like to say this was only the old Scott’s way of thinking, but an event this last week proved that I still think this way sometimes. In clinic, someone plopped down a large supply of opioids in front of me and immediately, the old thoughts sprang to life. I could easily obtain some of those. No one would ever know. No consequences . . .
Today’s passage describes this kind of thinking. In the story, Isaac planned to bless his favorite son Esau, but his wife Rebekah wanted Jacob to receive the blessing instead, so she came up with a plan to trick Isaac. You’ll have to read the whole story for details, but Jacob feared that his father would discover his lie and curse him. Jacob never said, Hey, maybe it’s wrong to lie to my father. No, his only concern was with getting caught.
No consequences . . . In the clinic this last week, it was that specific thought – No consequences – that shocked me back to reality. It struck terror in me because that’s exactly what I told myself right before my last relapse . . . which destroyed my life. In my last relapse, I believed that I could take those pills and that no one would ever know. I was sort of right. No one ever discovered that specific indiscretion. The evil that I invited into my life though, was its own consequence, as that one sin blossomed into a monster that consumed my life in a matter of months.
If we’re careful, we can get away with sin for a time. We can figure out how to look at pornography on our computer. We can cheat on our taxes. We can lie to our spouses. No one may ever know. Not getting caught though isn’t a victory. Rather, it’s fuel on the fire of our sin. As we get away with evil, it grows, consuming our lives, turning us from God, and making us slaves to our flesh. No one else may ever know, but we know. Sin always makes us spiritually sick, even when we think we’ve gotten away with it. There are never no consequences.